Like many of you, I find my mind flooded with memories of my mother during this season. I can hardly believe that it will be 20 years this July that my mom went from this life into the presence of our Lord Jesus. She truly left a legacy for which I give thanks to God.
In March of this year God blessed me with the joy of being called to serve as the pastor of the Fairview Family. I have been teaching from Colossians 1:28-29 on the concept of presenting people complete in Christ. This completeness means to grow to a level of maturity in the faith and to be actively multiplying oneself through living and sharing the faith with others.
For my Mom, the primary purpose was to present her 4 boys as complete in Christ. As I taught these messages, the preschool song my mother taught me called “deep and wide” helped communicate a truth. God desires each of us to grow in our fruitfulness, and in our faithfulness. As we grow in our relationship with God, He lives through us. We become instruments to help transform others. This is fruitfulness. As we walk in faithfulness (trust & obey) we are able to grow deeper and wider.
My Mom literally desired to present her boys before the world as maturing, multiplying followers of Jesus. Her wish upon her passing was for all 4 of us to sing, play the piano, and preach at her funeral. My mom was a model for me, both through her words and her actions. As I think about who God has made me to be, and what God has led me to do, I can clearly see how God used my Mom as a primary instrument to shape and mold me.
Mom modeled and strongly encouraged making family a priority. She always wanted us together to celebrate holidays and birthdays. We would take a long annual trip to West Virginia each summer to be with her sisters and brothers and all of their families. Mom loved us with passion and somehow found an even greater level of love for her grandchildren. I can remember being 18 and being awakened early on a Saturday after a late night of work. Mom wanted me to help Dad clean the garage. You can imagine my response. Mom held her ground. She told me a day would come when I would long to have this kind of moment with Dad. I got up, and today I am thankful for her encouragement.
Mom used to read books to us, one chapter per night. My favorite was Old Yeller. Mom required my younger brother and me to join her at the table each morning before school for a devotion and prayer. She wanted us to know Jesus, to know His Word, and to know how to pray. Mom lived what she taught. She loved the church. She was always serving and especially loved leading the ladies and girls in missions study and activities. Recently, a childhood friend shared how much my Mom meant to her. So many lives were touched because of her willingness to love and care for others. When I was alone trying to raise my two girls and pastor a church, she and Dad put their retirement on hold to come and live with me. I would not have made it without their willingness to sacrifice and love us in real tangible ways. I could go on but the simple truth is that my Mom planted many seeds in my life through her love, words, and actions. As I think today about my passions and how I live, I am thankful to say I see some fruit from the seeds she planted in me.
I have a strong passion for missions –thanks Mom. I have a love for reading—thanks Mom. I have a strong commitment to family – thanks Mom. I have a growing relationship with Jesus – thanks Mom. I have a calling to serve Jesus through His church – thanks Mom. I have a deep love for God’s Word – thanks Mom. I have a hunger to see people’s lives transformed through a relationship with Jesus. I have a longing to be making disciples of all the nations –thanks Mom. My Mom was a wonderful instrument in God’s hands to disciple me. As I grow older, I can only hope that my family, friends, and community will be able to say that I too have planted seeds that continue to bear fruit for Jesus Kingdom in my generation, the next generation and beyond.